Win a luxury holiday
The theme of the December issue of The Life is travel, so readers stand a chance to win one of two luxurious holidays - a seven-night stay at the Soneva Fushi Resort in the Maldives or four nights aboard the Aqua Mekong, a luxury river expeditions vessel by Aqua Expeditions.
The Maldives holiday, worth $22,300, consists of a stay at a beachfront two-storey Crusoe Villa, which comes with an open-air garden bathroom with bathtub and shower.
A butler is at your service throughout your stay.
Activities at the resort include watching movies under the stars at Cinema Paradiso and gazing at the stars at the resort's Observatory. Meals are not included.
The Aqua Mekong will take guests through Vietnam and Cambodia, exploring undiscovered areas of the Mekong River. The luxury 62.4m-long ship has 20 spacious air-conditioned suites, each with a double-sink ensuite bathroom, a king-sized bed and floor-to-ceiling windows for full views of the river.
How to download The Life e-magazine
1. Download The Straits Times Star E-books app from App Store for iPad or Google Play for Android tablet.
2. Get The Life magazine inside the app. It is free, along with previous issues of the magazine.The Life is optimised for iPads and Android tablets and is best downloaded where there is Wi-Fi.
During the journey, guests can disembark for activities such as bicycle rides along the river banks and visit wet markets and local villages.
Download the December issue of The Life for contest details.
Christmas gift guide
Less than a month to Christmas and your gift list is not even half-filled?
If you are scratching your head over what to get for your loved ones, find inspiration in The Life's annual Christmas gift guide. There are 10 picks each for women, men and children.
For the woman who has everything, how about a book on DIY lamps, tables and chairs from 50 designers and artists, including Chinese contemporary artist Ai Weiwei?
For the James Bond-wannabe, consider a pair of Tom Ford Snowdon sunglasses, like the ones Daniel Craig wore in Spectre. Or toys for the big boy, like a DJI Phantom 3 Professional drone or a Solowheel electric unicycle.
Speaking of toys, the children's gift list has a few, but not the kind you would expect. Think of a pen that dispenses melted plastic that hardens after "drawing", so you can create 3D structures, such as Paris' Notre Dame cathedral. Or a marble run that plays music, depending on how you construct it.
You might just want to buy these gifts for yourself.
Travel to eat
Where are foodies planning to travel to eat next year?
Chief executive of the Spa Esprit Group Cynthia Chua will be in New York City to ring in the new year and one of the eateries she plans to visit is American chef-restaurateur Andrew Carmellini's new restaurant Little Park for its vegetable-centric sharing plates.
Mr Ignatius Chan, owner of Iggy's at The Hilton Hotel, plans to head to Japan. Among the restaurants on his to-do list: new eatery Motoi in Kyoto, helmed by Japanese chef Motoi Maeda, who is trained in French classical cooking, and old favourites such as Kizushi in Nihonbashi and patisserie Hidemi Sugino, both in Tokyo.
Finally, there is head chef Anthony Yeoh of Restaurant Cocotte in Dickson Road, who plans to rent a holiday home in Paris so he can cook his own meals with regional produce.
The meticulously kept vineyards in Bordeaux are punctuated with stately wine chateaux bearing famous names such as Margaux, Latour, Lafite-Rothschild and Haut-Brion.
Chateau La Lagune, which is owned by the Frey family, has six rooms that can accommodate up to 12 guests.
Tour its vineyards and winery and feast on the gourmet French country cooking that its chef, Catherine Stewart, whips up in a huge kitchen. Butler Stephane Morin anticipates every need.
The staff will arrange visits to wineries, organise special meals and make restaurant bookings.
For oenophiles, this could be the holiday to beat all holidays.
Tan Hsueh Yun